The United Nations Committee On Torture (COT) consists of ten individual ‘experts’ who assemble in Geneva, Switzerland twice a year to initiate and assess reports of torture relating to member states. Incredible to believe but among its ranks is a Wang Xuexian, Chinese Ambassador, tasked no doubt to deflect criticism or meaningful action on China’s appalling record. However, despite his troubling presence China has attracted the attention of the COT on a number of occasions, particularly in relation to the violent and tyrannical treatment of Tibetans under China’s occupation. Following the 2008 Tibetan national uprising against China’s rule, which was viciously suppressed by China’s military and ‘security’ forces, with a mass of documented reports of killings, executions, torture and mass arrest, the COT convened its Forty-first session Geneva, November 3 to 21, 2008 to consider such accounts and appraise related evidence, as part of a general assessment on China. An advanced report was released on November 21 that year, which was pretty damning in terms of exposing a wide range of abuse and torture existing within China and occupied territories such as Tibet. In particular reference was made to events in Ngaba, in Tibet’s Eastern region of Amdo, the same area which is home to Kirti Monastery; which during April 2011 was placed under military siege by Chinese paramilitary, with at least three unarmed Tibetans killed, hundreds arrested and tortured as the monastery was ransacked and turned effectively into a prison.
Apart from revealing the extent and nature of violence and torture waged against Tibetans in 2008, as China’s regime launched a brutal crackdown the findings of the CAT requested that:
“The State party should conduct a thorough and independent inquiry into the reported excessive use of force, including against peaceful demonstrators and notably monks, in Kardze county, Ngaba county, and Lhasa.” . Source: Page 9, Fourth Periodic Report of China-CAT November 2008 (may take a minute or so to download)
At this stage of reading no doubt some will be pinching themselves and questioning if what they have just read is correct and not some distorted phantom of imagining. Well just to confirm, yes the United Nations Committee On Torture requested, the very Chinese authorities who demand, endorse, authorize and condone the violent abuse of Tibetans, to establish an impartial and effective investigation into the frenzied and lethal attacks carried out by their military thugs. This petition, which called presumably for a formal response from the Chinese regime, is either an example of political optimism and naivety beyond any known scale, bureaucratic bungling of circus proportions, or a cynical exercise. Whatever the case, to expect China to provide a balanced and detached examination, of its brutal actions in occupied Tibet, would be like anticipating Himmler’s SS to produce an unbiased account of its treatment of Polish Jews! We wonder how the honourable Committee members of the COT regarded China’s response, a credible and non-partisan conclusion perhaps?
If such a delusional conclusion was reached how are this years’ events in Ngaba being evaluated and viewed by the COT, as it witnesses the same military machine launch yet another vicious assault upon Tibetans and notes reports of further deaths, torture and mass-arrests. What now the oily euphemisms and assurances that no doubt filled the pages of China’s conclusions to its cynical ‘inquiry’, regarding its brutal crackdown of Tibetans in 2008; consumed with a troubling and uncritical willingness by the COT? We consider these to be vital questions which demand a response from the United Nations Committee On Torture, as Tibetans in Ngaba again suffer China’s machinery of violent suppression.
Please join us in emailing the following question to the COT
‘In light of the worrying findings regarding China’s violent crackdown of Tibetan protests in Ngaba, Amdo Region of Eastern Tibet, featured in of your Fourth Periodic Report of China (November 2008) and extremely concerned to note ongoing violent repression waged against legitimate Tibetan protests during 2012, in which Chinese paramilitary military forces have once again launched vicious attacks against unarmed Tibetans. I am requesting your office to urgently review China’s assurances, submitted to your Committee concerning events in Ngaba during 2008, which required China to make available a report to your Offices arising from an independent and thorough examination. Furthermore, I request that your Committee launch an immediate investigation into reports of torture, killings and violent suppression suffered by Tibetans from 2008 till present.’